In a gaffe that real estate mogul Donald Trump probably wouldn’t have tolerated from any of his underlings, USA Today declared the wrong winner of the popular TV show “The Apprentice” on its Web site.
Cigar company entrepreneur Bill Rancic landed the $250,000-a-year job in Thursday night’s live broadcast, but USA Today’s online edition on Friday featured a draft of a story saying Harvard Business School graduate Kwame Jackson had been chosen for the coveted chance to work for Trump.
The erroneous story — along with a correct one — was posted on a portion of the Web site where stories are listed as they are intended to appear in the print edition of the newspaper, USA Today spokesman Steve Anderson said.
“Unfortunately what happened was the file of the early draft was inadvertently posted to the Web site,” Anderson said. ”Obviously we regret the error and apologize to our readers for any confusion.”
Anderson said the error did not appear in the print edition of the Gannett Co. Inc. newspaper, the biggest circulation U.S. daily, nor on a link featured on the Web site’s home page. He said the incorrect story would be removed.
Rancic, 32, beat out 15 other contestants on the reality show after a series of tasks ranging from selling lemonade on the streets of Manhattan to coordinating golf tournaments and rock concerts. Each episode ended with Trump booting one of the contestants by uttering his mantra, “You’re fired.”